Tag Archives: police state

No Need For Police To Shoot Man, Witness Says

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The anguished renovator who alerted police to a dazed man clad in a hospital gown lurking in the backyard of an east-end house last Friday says police did not need to kill him.

“From what I saw, this was uncalled for. There was no need to shoot him,” said Vince, who wouldn’t reveal his full name. “I don’t want the family to know it was me. I feel responsible. I’m still struggling to cope.”

The renovator’s remorse has led him to break his silence about the shooting of 29-year-old Michael Eligon, an event he saw unfold in front of him on Milverton Boulevard, near Coxwell and Danforth Avenues, at 10:15 a.m.

Police Using Drones On Domestic Population

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Michael Edwards  
Activist Post

It is a sign of just how fast the police state is advancing that drones in American skies have gone from conspiracy theory to admitted fact in about a year.

In a precedent-setting event, local law enforcement in North Dakota nabbed three suspected armed men with the help of a Predator B unmanned drone.  It was only after the drone confirmed that the men were unarmed that police moved in to make the arrest.

It has now become clear that, as we have written and warned about for the past year, the drones that were supposedly commissioned strictly as tools for border control will now patrol inland for suspected criminals on American soil, heralding a new level of police state oppression.

In April I wrote about the future expansion of unmanned drones over America based on the admissions made by two-star General, John Priddy, from the U.S. National Air Security Operations Center, evidenced in the video below, that the continued expansion of predator drone surveillance was a stated goal for the coming years.

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They ARE Coming For You… Why Are You Helping Them?

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As I was recently reading through the journals written by Sister Bohdana, who in 1943 was executed by Nazi Forces for the “crime” of helping the German people, I was struck by the many similarities that are now occurring in the United States, specifically how the majority of its citizens remain compliant to the ever growing police state arising around them.

Sister Bohdana had been sent to Germany in 1938 by the Sorcha Faal to, among her other duties; begin educating those opposed to Nazi rule on how to protectthemselves against the tyranny they were facing.  What she believed would be a project enthusiastically embraced by the German people became the exact opposite however because, as she wrote at the time, “They have little to no conception that their greatest enemy is themselves.”

What the Sister was referring to in her writings was how insidiously the Nazi regime had used the pretext of “terror” to turn the vast majority of Germany’s citizens into government informants, a practice that didn’t end when World War II was over, but was continued in Communist East Germany with the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) creating one of the most extensive police infiltrations of a society in history where one of every 63 East Germans collaborated as spies against their fellow citizens.

What the Nazis and Stasi had done to the Germany people though pales to virtual insignificance when compared to what the United States has done to its citizens since 2001 as nearly every single American has become, in essence, a government spy who is in all actuality spying on themselves…and they don’t even know it!

Here is how they did it, and why.

After the horrific attacks of 9/11 the US was quick to respond with a massive new law called the Patriot Act (which no one has yet to explain how it was ready for Congress to vote on mere hours after the attack) which, among other things, changed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) allowing any US governmental agency to demand telephone and Internet service providers hand over consumer data that has been stored on servers.

Since 2001, the US has also subsidized its wireless telephone and Internet industry with billions of dollars of taxpayer money (Nearly $3 billion in the past year alone) thus creating what has become the largest electronic “net” for gathering and storing information the world has ever known.

To manage and oversee this massive electronic fishing net the US has created what are called Fusion Centers, of which the American Civil Liberties Union warned now “threatens Americans’ privacy at an unprecedented level”.

Early last year one these Fusion Centers issued a report titled “The Modern Militia Movement” that, in part, stated “If you’re an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or a certain Republican member of Congress, if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.”

The US Department Homeland Security in an August 5, 2009 letter to Americans For Limited Government (ALG) acknowledged using Sorcha Faal reports as one of their “sources” for compiling one of these Fusion Center reports, but their greatest source of information is the American people themselves who live their lives tethered to this massive electronic fishing net by what are called Radio-Frequency Identification Chips, otherwise known as RFID’s.

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SWAT Teams & The Militarization Of U.S. Police Force

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“He [a federal agent] had his knee on my back and I had no idea why they were there.” – Anthony Wright, victim of a Dept. of Education SWAT team raid

The militarization of American police – no doubt a blowback effect of the military empire – has become an unfortunate part of American life. In fact, it says something about our reliance on the military that federal agencies having nothing whatsoever to do with national defense now see the need for their own paramilitary units. Among those federal agencies laying claim to their own law enforcement divisions are the State Department, Department of Education, Department of Energy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service, to name just a few. These agencies have secured the services of fully armed agents – often in SWAT team attire – through a typical bureaucratic sleight-of-hand provision allowing for the creation of Offices of Inspectors General (OIG). Each OIG office is supposedly charged with not only auditing their particular agency’s actions but also uncovering possible misconduct, waste, fraud, theft, or certain types of criminal activity by individuals or groups related to the agency’s operation. At present, there are 73 such OIG offices in the federal government that, at times, perpetuate a police state aura about them.

For example, it was heavily armed agents from one such OIG office, working under the auspices of the Department of Education, who forced their way into the home of a California man, handcuffed him, and placed his three children (ages 3, 7, and 11) in a squad car while they conducted a search of his home. This federal SWAT team raid, which is essentially what it was, on the home of Anthony Wright on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, was allegedly intended to ferret out information on Wright’s estranged wife, Michelle, who no longer lives with him and who was suspected of financial aid fraud (early news reports characterized the purpose of the raid as being over Michelle’s delinquent student loans). According to Wright, he was awakened at 6 am by the sound of agents battering down his door and, upon descending the stairs, was immediately subdued by police. One neighbor actually witnessed the team of armed agents surround the house and, after forcing entry, they “dragged [Wright] out in his boxer shorts, threw him to the ground and handcuffed him.”

This is not the first time a SWAT team has been employed in non-violent scenarios. Nationwide, SWAT teams have been employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances: angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling. In some instances, SWAT teams are even employed, in full armament, to perform routine patrols.

How did we allow ourselves to travel so far down the road to a police state? While we are now grappling with a power-hungry police state at the federal level, the militarization of domestic American law enforcement is largely the result of the militarization of local police forces, which are increasingly militaristic in their uniforms, weaponry, language, training, and tactics and have come to rely on SWAT teams in matters that once could have been satisfactorily performed by traditional civilian officers. Even so, this transformation of law enforcement at the local level could not have been possible without substantial assistance from on high.

Frequently justified as vital tools necessary to combat terrorism and deal with rare but extremely dangerous criminal situations, such as those involving hostages, SWAT teams – which first appeared on the scene in California in the 1960s – have now become intrinsic parts of local law enforcement operations, thanks in large part to substantial federal assistance. For example, in 1994, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Defense agreed to a memorandum of understanding that enabled the transfer of federal military technology to local police forces. Following the passage of the Defense Authorization Security Act of 1997, which was intended to accelerate the transfer of military equipment to domestic law enforcement departments, local police acquired military weaponry – gratuitously or at sharp discounts – at astonishing rates. Between 1997 and 1999, the agency created by the Defense Authorization Security Act conveyed 3.4 million orders of military equipment to over 11,000 local police agencies in all 50 states. Not only did this vast abundance of military weaponry contribute to a more militarized police force, but it also helped spur the creation of SWAT teams in jurisdictions across the country.

In one of the few quantitative studies on the subject, criminologist Peter Kraska found…
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Vanessa Guerena Asks: Why Did You Kill Him?

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by William Norman Grigg

“Why, why did you kill him?” a traumatized Vanessa Guerena begged to know as she was interrogated in a makeshift “command center” by detectives from the same Sheriff’s Office that had just slaughtered her husband Jose. Her questioners, eager to exploit her trauma to extract information, initially refused to give her a straightforward answer.

Jose, who had finished a graveyard shift at the Asarco copper mine, was sleeping when a SWAT team from the Pima County Sheriff’s Office laid siege to his home on the morning of May 5. Vanessa was doing laundry, and the couple’s four-year-old son Joel was watching Transformers, when the SWAT raiders pulled up in a Bear Cat armored vehicle.

The siren sounded for less than ten seconds; just a few seconds later, the order to “breach” the door was given because, as on-scene commander Deputy Bob Krygier later explained, nobody inside the house had “submitted to our authority.”

Vanessa initially thought that there was an emergency “somewhere in the neighborhood,” and called the police. When she saw armed intruders on her property, Vanessa screamed for her husband to wake up. Jose told Vanessa to take their younger son (whose older brother, Jose, Jr., was in school) and hide in the closet, while he went to confront the invaders.
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Adam Kokesh Arrested For Silent Dancing

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On May 28, 2011 Television host Adam Kokesh and several other activists participating in a flash-mob were arrested at the publicly-funded Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Their crime? Silently dancing, in celebration of the first amendment’s champion; a clear violation of their right to free-expression. In an excessive use of force, video was captured of Adam being body slammed and placed in a choke for his non-crime.

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Key Patriot Act Provisions Being Extended

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Written by Stephen Lendman
Extending Key Patriot Act Provisions – by Stephen Lendman

On October 13, 2001 New York Times writers Robin Toner and Neil Lewis headlined, “A NATION CHALLENGED: CONGRESS; House Passes Terrorism Bill Much Like Senate’s, but With 5-Year Limit,” saying:

The House gave “the government broad new powers for the wiretapping, surveillance and investigation of terrorism suspects. But in recognition of many lawmakers’ fears of the potential for government overreaching and abuse, the House also included a five-year limit after which many of those powers would expire.”

On October 26, George Bush signed it into law, prompting Center for Constitutional Rights senior litigation attorney Nancy Chang to ask, “What’s So Patriotic About Trampling on the Bill of Rights?” saying:

“Over vigorous objections from civil liberties organizations on both ends of the political spectrum, Congress overwhelmingly approved the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, better known by its acronym, the USA PATRIOT Act.”

In fact, the legislative process capitalized on a window of hysteria to grant unchecked executive powers. In the process, however, key Bill of Rights protections were lost or seriously eroded for the sake of security, including:

– Fifth and Fourteen Amendment due process rights by permitting indefinite detentions of undocumented immigrants that can now apply to anyone anywhere in the world, including US citizens for any reason or none at all.

– First Amendment freedom of association rights that the Supreme Court considers an essential part of free expression. Now anyone may be charged and prosecuted for their alleged association with an “undesirable group.”

– Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches and seizures. As a result, personal privacy rights were lost.

– Authorized unchecked government surveillance powers to access personal records, monitor financial transactions, as well as student, medical and other records.

Henceforth, moreover, “sneak and peak” searches may be conducted through:

– “delayed notice” warrants;

– roving wiretaps;

– email tracking; and

– internet and cell phone use.

In addition:

– Secret evidence may be obtained lawlessly and withheld from defense lawyers.

– Immigrants may be denied their right to counsel if they’re unable to provide their own.

– Built-in safeguards are ended to let domestic criminal and foreign intelligence operations share information so CIA can now spy domestically.

For the first time, in fact, the Act also created the federal crime of “domestic terrorism,” applicable to US citizens as well as aliens. It states criminal law violations are considered domestic terrorist acts if they aim to “influence (government policy) by intimidation or coercion (or) intimidate or coerce a civilian population.”

Henceforth, by this definition, anti-war or global justice demonstrations, environmental or animal rights activism, civil disobedience, and dissent of any kind may be called “domestic terrorism.”

For example, in 2001, several prominent Americans engaged in civil disobedience on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico by unlawfully entering an airbase to protest against regular Pentagon military exercises, including bombings. It’s now called domestic terrorism to influence government policy.

Under the Patriot Act’s Section 806, with no hearing or notice, the government may confiscate or freeze all foreign and domestic assets of any individual, entity, or organization accused of engaging in, planning, supporting, concealing, or perpetrating any act called domestic or international terrorism against America – even by protesting nonviolently.

Other provisions are just as harsh, using vague language, giving authorities wide latitude to twist the law perversely and advantageously, targeting anyone for anything called terrorism, whether or not true.

Yet this far-reaching 342 page bill was passed quickly with virtually no public hearings, debates, conference or committee reports. Unprecedented in scope, it authorized sweeping executive powers, free from meaningful judicial and congressional oversight.

Moreover, the Patriot Act was just for starters. Much more lay ahead with bipartisan complicity, legislating like a gift that keeps on giving. As a result, to this day, enacted police state measures subvert constitutional freedoms, including against First Amendment rights without which all others are at risk.

Congressional Agreement on Continued Police State Justice

In March 2006, Congress renewed most Patriot Act powers, and on May 19, 2011, congressional leaders agreed to extend three key provisions for another four years.

On May 20, AP writer Laurie Kellman headlined, “Top lawmakers agree to Patriot Act extension,” saying:

“Top congressional leaders agreed Thursday to a four-year extension….call(ing) for a vote before May 27, when parts of the current act expire.”

In fact, little debate is planned to assure swift passage. “The legislation would extend three expiring provisions until June 1, 2015….”

Doing so will meet administration demands for a “clean” extension with no concessions to concerns about civil liberty infringements.

Senate Majority and Minority Leaders Harry Reid (D. NV) and Mitch McConnell (R. KY), as well as House Speaker John Boehner (R. OH) arranged the deal. Reid then filed a May 19 cloture petition to force quick Senate passage, followed in the House before the May 27 deadline.

Under this procedure, only amendments submitted before cloture is invoked may be considered. However, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), “first-degree” amendments may be filed “on the day after the filing of the cloture petition, (and) second-degree amendments may be filed until at least one hour prior to the start of the cloture vote….(e)xcept by unanimous consent” as stipulated under Rule XXII.

Of concern are three provisions set to expire without extension:

(1) Allowing limitless use of roving wiretaps.

(2) Section 215, pertaining to alleged suspects, authorizing government access to “any tangible item,” including financial records and transactions, student and medical records, phone conversations, emails, other Internet use, and whatever else is surveilled.

(3) Permitting alleged suspect organizations and individuals to be surveilled, whether or not evidence links them to terrorism or complicity to commit it. In other words, this amounts to unchecked police state powers to monitor anyone for any reason or none at all.

The ACLU Responds

On May 20, it urged concerned citizens to “Contract Congress Now Before it Deals Away Your Privacy Rights!” saying:

Despite popular and bipartisan opposition, Reid, McConnell and Boehner “made a back-room deal to reauthorize the Patriot Act for (another) four years, (containing) highly controversial surveillance provisions,” one of which never was used (pertaining to “lone wolves”).

The others, however, have “routinely been abused, so they ought to be reformed. But the proposed reauthorization fails to make any of the needed changes to the law. And it significantly reduces the possibility of real congressional oversight or government accountability for another four years.”

As a result, the ACLU reiterated opposition to reauthorization, saying now is “the time for reform” to stop widespread civil liberty infringements.

In fact, domestic spying rose sharply under Obama, including by abusive National Security Letters (NSLs), permitting FBI and CIA officials to issue administrative subpoenas without probable cause or judicial oversight. They require targeted individuals or groups (on demand) to provide records, data or other requested information.

A Final Comment

Since taking office in January 2009, Obama exceeded George Bush’s harshness, lawlessness, belligerency, and public trust betrayal, violating every major promise made.

Instead, he deferred solely to wealth and power interests at the expense of vital popular needs and rights, trashing democratic freedoms.

Extending Patriot Act provisions solidifies domestic repression at the same time America’s imperial agenda denies democratic freedoms abroad – exposing a rogue president’s hypocritical promise of change.

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